Several prominent UK-based websites may need to adjust their search engine optimisation strategy after the latest update to Google's results calculating algorithms saw many companies drop down the rankings.

According to the Guardian's Charles Arthur, many technology sites were negatively affected, seeing their domains fall off the first page of Google's results, along with voucher and discount sites.

He observed that the decrease could have potentially serious consequences for companies that gain most of their traffic from Google, describing it as "the difference between financial life and death."

The update, which was applied to the US at the end of February and has now been implemented more widely, is intended to filter out what the search engine deems to be poor quality sites – so called 'content farms' that do not offer any original material.

Another loser in the update was Microsoft-owned comparison site Ciao, which is one of a number of firms currently bringing an anti-trust complaint against Google, alleging that it has had its results deliberately lowered by the company.

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